Futuremark VRMark helps PCs prove their VR mettle

High-end PC VR headsets require substantial computing horsepower to deliver immersive experiences, even after Oculus and Valve introduced technologies aimed at reducing VR's hardware requirements. Quantifying how well a PC meets those requirements has been tricky business thus far. Futuremark has stepped into the breech and released VRMark, aimed at benchmarking PCs for VR applications. VRMark is offered in Basic and Advanced Editions.

VRMark can run tests with or without a VR headset. In Benchmark mode, the tool runs on a standard computer monitor. If a PC can run the test at a predetermined framerate without dropping frames, VRMark blesses the computer as ready to use with the Oculus Rift or HTC's Vive. In addition to the binary approval status, the Advanced Edition of the tool provides detailed performance metrics, including frame-by-frame charts of frame rate, GPU frequency, GPU load, and GPU temperature. This higher-end edition also offers users the ability to tweak benchmark settings to make it less taxing or more punishing.

The tool's Experience mode allows users to judge the quality of the VR experience for themselves. This mode allows for free movement and includes spatial audio projection. The user can move their head and wave an interactive flashlight to explore the scene. The Experience mode can be used with a normal monitor or a VR headset.

VRMark Basic Edition includes a single environment, which Futuremark calls the Orange Room. A passing grade in the Orange Room suggests a PC meets the minimum requirements for the Rift and Vive. The Advanced Edition includes a second environment, the Blue Room. Passing the Blue Room benchmark indicates that a computer ought to be able to run the latest VR games and applications at higher settings and may be ready for the next wave of VR headsets.

Futuremark offers VRMark Basic Edition for no charge. The Advanced Edition normally costs $20, but is on sale for $15 during its launch week.

Comments closed
    • Wesmo
    • 3 years ago

    There’s an additional 25% off for existing owners of 3dMark (picked it up for $9.99).

    • psuedonymous
    • 3 years ago

    – Measures FPS rather than frame render-time (i.e. latency)
    – Runs benchmark only with APIs disabled, so does not take into account any post-warp strategies

    For VR, it’s a bit of a fail. You could claim that not using VR APIs is to remain ‘vendor agnostic’ but not even measuring the right damn metric is just awful.

      • Noinoi
      • 3 years ago

      The first one is alleviated somewhat by the existence of a graph with instantaneous FPS averages over two lines denoting recommended and minimum spec VR; you should be good if both the average and the actual plotted graph charts above the line at all times.

      As for the second one, the benchmark’s judgment does take into account that VR APIs aren’t available with no VR headset and adjusts performance requirements accordingly. Use a VR headset if you want actual VR numbers.

    • Chrispy_
    • 3 years ago

    The goalposts for VR are constantly moving and vary per vendor, so a benchmark for “generic VR” seems like an oxymoron, dumbed down to the point of being moronic.

      • Noinoi
      • 3 years ago

      Perhaps, but on the other hand this benchmark, in its basic form, would serve as a “good enough” indicator for people that just want to check out if their computer has enough processing power for VR tasks (the program also provides baselines to compare), without referring to anything else. Keep in mind that the performance targets are tuned according to what appears to be recommended Oculus/Vive and minimum Oculus, so in a strange kind of way, it’s a good approximation of usable VR experience.

      Also handy to see if there’s any performance margin should one wish to turn up the settings.

    • wingless
    • 3 years ago

    It’s in VR’s best interest that the barrier to entry on the PC be as low as possible. HTC and Oculus should sell the headsets at a loss just to get adoption rates hire. Without users, the ecosystem will never grow and embed itself in our daily lives.

    Of course I’m just saying this because I don’t want to drop more than $500 for a complete VR kit with touch….I’m (first world problems) broke.

      • tipoo
      • 3 years ago

      HTC taking a loss would be really bad for them. As I recall it was one of their more profitable divisions, while they’ve been in red for a while.

      Facebook I could see getting into a war of attrition for it.

        • christos_thski
        • 3 years ago

        Facebook is vile and lots of people have understandable objections to it. I wouldn’t put “Tipoo was active in VR 10 minutes ago” (on facebook status!) past those cretins. Doesn’t much help that the Oculus guy is a reactionary racist prick, either.

        Steam is more than profitable, and could pick up the cost for subsidizing HTC Vive on its own. The VR platform needs something akin to the console model to pick up. I can’t see it succeeding on gimmicky rail shooters and “Boo” scare-fests alone. VR needs real games tailored to its strengths and weaknesses.

          • Liron
          • 3 years ago

          Valve doesn’t even need to subsidize it. If they released HL3 on VR-only, that alone would do it.

            • Krogoth
            • 3 years ago

            HL3 couldn’t do anything to help with VR adoption. It has missed the boat by a decade. The majority of the current gaming community doesn’t care about HL franchise.

            Valve killed it because it they know that it cannot compete against the current crop of FPS and MOBA titles out there. It would end-up becoming another DNF. Valve is making more revenue off from Steam, DOTA2 and Hat Fortress 2 then would ever get from HL3.

            • JustAnEngineer
            • 3 years ago

            Valve working on [i<]Half-Life 3[/i<] would be as pointless as Bethesda having a huge advertising campaign for a 5-year-old [i<]Skyrim[/i<], right?

            • Krogoth
            • 3 years ago

            It is likely dead at this point. Valve likely decided to cut their losses (encouraged mostly by general reception of DNF) and figured that they would make more money to keep it around as a “meme” then actual attempt to deliver on it.

            It is hardly the first time that a major blockbuster/franchise never got a proper sequel because it got axed during development for whatever reason.

            Team Fortress 2 spend a good portion of its development time as a “half-baked” title until they decided to do a complete reboot which lead to current Hat Fortress 2 we know today.

      • Shobai
      • 3 years ago

      Loss leaders only work if you can reasonably expect to recoup your costs through other avenues. If HTC’s just making the headsets…

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This